Google+ SpaceTravelFoundation: Russian spacecraft Foton-M4 lands successfully but all geckos lost

September 2, 2014

Russian spacecraft Foton-M4 lands successfully but all geckos lost

Dear readers and followers,

Yesterday, September 1st the, troubled satellite with live geckos and other scientific experiments onboard landed in Southern Russia, according to the Russian space agency, Roskosmos. 

However all geckos were found dead after the capsule had been opened. They must be bead because of cold, annonced the Russian space agency. The touchdown of the Foton-M4 spacecraft occurred at 13:18 Moscow Summer Time. The mission of Foton-M4 thus lasted 44 days instead of 60 days, which it was expected to fly at the time of the launch.

Credit images: Russian Space Agency

The agency's press-release also claimed that an average altitude of the satellite's orbit had been 575 kilometers, exceeding that of the International Space Station, ISS. This "piece of information" was likely copied from a pre-launch announcement, because, in reality, the orbit-correction engine onboard Foton-M4 had failed to deliver the spacecraft to its planned orbit shortly after its liftoff on July 19.

However, July 24th, Russia’s space agency has re-established communication with its Foton-M4 satellite in Earth’s low orbit, three days after losing contact.

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